City Food – Haleem, Meena Bazaar

City Food – Haleem, Meena Bazaar

The one-dish meal. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] This is hearty food, different from the subtle confections of traditional Mughlai cuisine, like koftas and pulaos. Yellow and with paste-like consistency, haleem is a one-dish meal of wheat, lentils…

City Food – Roasted Peanuts, Around Town

City Food – Roasted Peanuts, Around Town

The soul food for winter. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Peanut roasting is a cold-weather trade on Delhi’s streets. The Bhaiyyas, mostly migrants from the impoverished countryside of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, fill up their carts with popcorn,…

City Food - Imarti, Mehboob e Ilahi Mithai Shop

City Food – Imarti, Mehboob e Ilahi Mithai Shop

The sweet decadence. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Thick and sticky, the loopy imarti is as decadent as the court of Delhi’s last Mughal. Its crusty deep-fried shell packs in a pool of extravagantly sweet sap. The disciplined…

City Food - Kebab Stalls, Urdu Bazaar

City Food – Kebab Stalls, Urdu Bazaar

Delhi’s cheapest kebab destination. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] In pre-Partition Delhi, when the Walled City was home to educated and wealthy Muslims (who later went to Pakistan), Urdu Bazaar was a street lined with Urdu-language bookstores. By…

City Food - Julia Child Makes Rumali Roti in Nizamuddin Basti

City Food – Julia Child Makes Rumali Roti in Nizamuddin Basti

The great chef’s life in Delhi. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Meet the Julia Child of Nizamuddin Basti, a congested village in central Delhi. A cheery 28-year-old, Child hails from the state of Uttar Pradesh and has been…

Photo Essay - Fast Food City, McDonald's Delhi

Photo Essay – Fast Food City, McDonald’s Delhi

The world of McDonald’s. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s easy to say why you think a McDonald’s burger is bad. It is unhealthy, fattening and industrial. But then all of Delhi’s traditional food too is fattening. Tell…

City Food – Bhutta, Delhi Streets

City Food – Bhutta, Delhi Streets

Soul snack for the monsoon. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s a monsoon thing. As the air gets humid, the respite is in the dry, crackling, slightly burnt ears of corn, the bhutta in Delhi lingo. Street vendors…

City Food - Julia Child Makes Badaam Pasanda in I.P. Extension

City Food – Julia Child Makes Badaam Pasanda in I.P. Extension

The great chef’s life in Delhi. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Meet the Julia Child of I.P. Extension, a neighbourhood in east Delhi. Ms Child organizes culinary festivals in a city’s 5-star hotel, but when she has a…

City Food - Butter Chicken, Moti Mahal Restaurant

City Food – Butter Chicken, Moti Mahal Restaurant

The made-in-Delhi dish. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] If Delhiites are sometimes called fat, aggressive and lascivious, then butter chicken must share a part of the blame. It originated in the 1950s at the Moti Mahal restaurant in…

City Food – Julia Child Makes Moongphali Cheewra in Vasundhara

City Food – Julia Child Makes Moongphali Cheewra in Vasundhara

The great chef’s life in Delhi. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Meet the Julia Child of Vasundhara, a suburban neighbourhood beyond the borders of east Delhi. As a girl, Ms Child was a javelin throw star in her…